Egypt unveils 3,000-year-old 'lost' city near Luxor
Archeologists on Saturday showed off their finds at what they say is the “largest” ancient city ever found in Egypt, dating to a golden age of the pharaohs 3,000 years ago.
At the site near Luxor, home of the legendary Valley of the Kings, workers carefully carried ancient pots and showed human and animal remains dug up from the earth as members of the media toured around curved brick walls and rudimentary streets.
“This is a large city that was lost. It was connected with the god Aton and Amenhotep III,” famed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass told reporters on Saturday.
“We found three major districts: one for administration, one for workers to sleep in and another for industry,” he said.
Spaces include workshops for drying meat, making clothes and sandals, and crafting amulets and small statues.
Mostafa Waziri, head of the country’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the site was not limited to buildings.
“We can see... economic activity, workshops and ovens,” he noted.
Hawass had earlier in the week announced the discovery of a “lost golden city,” and the archeological team said the find was “the largest” ancient city ever uncovered in Egypt. “We found one portion of the city only,” Hawass said on Saturday. “The city extends to the west and the north.”
The team began excavations in September between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, some 500 kilometers south of Cairo.
Amenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in modern Iraq and Syria to Sudan and died around 1354 BC, ancient historians say.
He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the grandeur of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon — two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.
Betsy Bryan, professor of Egyptian art and archeology at Johns Hopkins University, had said in a statement that the find was the “second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun” nearly a century ago.
“The archeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday,” the team’s statement said.
Archeologists have unearthed items of jewelry, colored pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing seals of Amenhotep III.
Hawass said “a large fish covered in gold” may have been venerated.